By Laurie Sullivan
EBN (10/12/00)

Carving out a niche by offering 15 franchised lines focused on the defense industry, All Tech Electronics Inc. is trying to step out from behind the shadow cast by industry giants like Arrow Electronics.

All Tech, a minority-owned and operated distributor based in Elmsford, N.Y., is up against defense-focused divisions such as Arrow/Zeus, which are backed by billion-dollar broad-line distributors with extensive product support. So far, All Tech’s biggest challenge has been trying to get government contractors to take notice.

Though the distributor’s value-added services have been limited, it is working in the area of diminishing manufacturing sources (DMS) as a means of attracting attention. Material obsolescence is widespread in the military sector, according to All Tech president Albert Phillips.

“Many times, the military will have an obsolete part designed-in to a board on an active job,” Phillips said. “We want to focus on helping customers find a replacement for obsolete parts, and see increasing our DMS capabilities as playing a bigger role in the company’s overall plan.”

Beyond DMS capabilities, All Tech offers bar-coding and testing, and plans to implement kitting services in the second quarter of 2001. Adding ordering capabilities and product-availability lookup screens to its Web site is also on the company’s list of value-added-service improvements.

Unlike other market segments, allocation hasn’t had an impact on All Tech’s business, though the distributor is aware of memory and capacitor shortages plaguing the commercial sectors. “The commercial and industrial factories have stopped taking orders,” said Mike Weiss, regional sales manager at All Tech. “We thought it would’ve had a slowdown or domino effect on the military business, but it hasn’t-up to this point, anyway.”

Still, All Tech carefully watches its product selections and tries to take advantage of factory stock rotations, turning inventory about six times a year, according to Mike Sammarco, vice president of sales and marketing.

By monitoring emerging procurement trends, All Tech typically shies away from stocking inventory of commodity products. In the defense community, where many components are used in small quantities that require additional engineering to withstand the rigors of defense applications, All Tech said it has done particularly well by positioning its inventory to meet emerging technologies such as radar systems.

“Here we are-it’s like a David and Goliath scenario,” Weiss said. “But our experience and background gives us real strong product knowledge. For our size, we cover a large portion of mil-spec products, which is something that interests large manufacturers in this sector.”

Recent regulatory changes require all small disadvantaged businesses (SDBs) to obtain certification from the Small Business Administration (SBA) before operating as an SDB subcontractor to defense contractors. Keeping with federal regulations effective Oct. 1, 1999, All Tech has received its SBA certification.

“It was crucial we receive SBA certification,” Weiss said. “We have some aggressive growth plans during the next five years, and the certification is an essential piece of the puzzle to attain this goal.”

For More Information Contact:

Frank Berte
All Tech Electronics, Inc.
105 Fairview Park Drive, Elmsford NY 10523
Tel: (914) 592-7726
FAX: (914) 592-8134